Digital Slideshows: The Extra Nugget for Your Online News Story

The first time I saw a digital slideshow in the Washington Post, I knew I wanted to make that part of my multimedia tool kit.   I am not a professional photographer, but that hasn’t stopped me from figuring out which cameras and software to use to produce a digital slideshow.

I believe a slideshow is that extra nugget you need to go along with your written report.  I produce digital slideshows when my assignment is very visual.  I mean when there is a lot of action and reaction going on. 

Here’s one I produced  for pegasusnews.com.  It took me just under two hours to shoot the photos and conduct my interviews.  Then it took me forty minutes to put together the slideshow.

Stepping in the Right Direction from Rebecca Aguilar on Vimeo.

Digital slideshows help the reader “experience” the story.   It makes them feel like they were right there when you were covering the assignment. In many ways they’re like the video stories I produced for my television reports.

Types of Digital Slideshows

A digital slideshow can be very simple or it can have many layers to it.  One story can be produced in different ways by just the elements you use in the slideshow.   A digital slideshow can include the following combinations:

1.  only photos

2.  photos and text

3.  photos and music

4.  photos and soundbites (interviews)

5.  photos and reporter voice-over

6.  photos, music and text

7.  photos, music, and reporter voice-over

8.  photos, music and soundbites

9.  photos, music, text, and reporter voice-over

10.  photos,music, text and soundbites

11.  photos, music, text, soundbites and reporter voice-over

12.  photos, music, text, soundbites, reporter voice-over and ambient sound (background sound like traffic etc)

13.  photos, text, soundbites, reporter voice-over and ambient sound

Here’s a digital slideshow I produced for pegasusnews.com with photos, soundbites, music and reporter voice-over.

 

Dallas police — “New Life Opportunities” from Alex Bentley on Vimeo.

The more digital slideshows you produce the better you’ll get at visualizing what you want and how to get the best results.  I get many of my ideas and inspirations from looking at other digital slideshows being produced by newspapers and online news sites.  The Washington Post and The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune are my favorites.

Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune

http://www.startribune.com/slideshows/?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O%3ADW3ckUiD3aPc%3A_Yyc%3AaUQ7c4E7ME5U

The Washington Post 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/

Do you need an expensive camera or software to produce a quality slideshow?  Not really, but I’ll cover that and free software you can use in my next blog.

Until next time!

Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy Award winning journalist. She is currently working on a degree in Multimedia Development and she is freelance reporting in Dallas.

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